Somaliland has lamented exclusion from the newly formed IGAD Taskforce on the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden despite being a major stakeholder in the Red Sea governance.
The break-away region noted it had dedicated its resources and budget to insulate IGAD member states from conflicts across the sea in Yemen and the Middle East and should, therefore, be included in any processes aimed at protecting the security and economic interests of the region.
“The Government of Somaliland believes that any initiative to coordinate a response to changing Red Sea environs that does not include Somaliland in a meaningful way will lack the credibility, capability and representativeness necessary to contend with competing multinational cooperation efforts in these waters” the statement from the foreign affairs ministry read in part.
The regional body IGAD Committee of Ambassadors announced last Thursday the formation of the taskforce ‘in line with the decision of the 46th Ordinary Session of the IGAD Council of Ministers which was held in Djibouti on 27th February 2019’.
The Taskforce according to a statement from the April 4 meeting in Nairobi will study, review and advise on the conclusions and recommendations of the Council’ aimed incorporating the Red Sea region within the remit of IGAD’s governance following thawing of relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
But Somaliland has warned countries which share the coastal waters in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden must be included in such processes.
“Safeguarding the security and sustainability of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden concerns all countries that share these coastal waters, and Somaliland supports multilateral approaches to our common challenges and opportunities.”